Recent Communications to General Managers – July & August 2018

/////Recent Communications to General Managers – July & August 2018

Recent Communications to General Managers – July & August 2018

Following are recent email communications sent to station general managers.

Subject: ACTION REQUIRED: National EAS and WEA Test, 9/20/18
From: Thomas Crockett
Date: Tue 8/21/2018 2:51 PM
Attachments: EAS-WEA Test Instructions, EAS-WEA Test Checklist


On September 20, 2018, at 2:18 PM Eastern, FEMA will distribute a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) using the PBS-WARN system. For the very first time, a Presidential Emergency Action Notification (EAN) message will be sent to the entire country. Two minutes later, the same message will be sent to your EAS equipment and broadcast as a National Periodic test (NPT). PBS stations will play a key role in this historic EAS and WEA combined exercise.

All PBS stations must participate. Station need to prepare now. The PBS-WARN system helps distribute urgent WEA messages by providing a resilient broadcast link between FEMA and the Nation’s wireless providers. We will be the only participant to transmit both messages. Your transmitter is a critical link for WEA – only PBS provides this service.

There are steps you need to take. Attached is a checklist and description of the actions your station needs to take in the next few weeks. We are counting on all PBS stations to make this first nationwide EAS/WEA test a success!

We will be in touch again shortly before the test date with another reminder. In the meantime, please direct any questions to George Molnar, Director, Engineering & Management, PBS-WARN: (703) 739-5313;

Thanks in advance for your participation.


Subject: Availability of Discount for Early Payment of PBS FY 2019 Dues
From: Tom Tardivo
Date: Tue 8/21/2018 7:20 AM
Attachment: PBS Annual Dues Discount and Late Fee Schedule - Effective July 1 2018

Dear Colleagues:

I hope you have all had enjoyable summers. I am writing this note to update you on the status of the FY19 PBS dues invoices. We have not been able to finalize the FY19 dues billing as we are still awaiting final 2017 NFFS information for a number of stations. Once final NFFS information is received, we will update the dues model and finalize FY19 dues invoices for all stations. We expect to send out final FY19 dues billings by mid-October.

We realize some stations would like to pay their 85% share of final dues by August 31, 2018 to take advantage of the 1% early payment discount per the Annual Dues Billing, Discount and Interest Schedule in effect for FY19 (attached).

To facilitate this, we are prepared to generate a final invoice for the 1st installment payment due November 30, 2018 based on 85% of your FY19 estimated dues amount. Once the total dues amounts are finalized, we will adjust any difference in the total FY19 dues obligation in the invoice for the 2nd Installment, which is due March 31, 2019.

If you would like to take advantage of this extension and receive an invoice for the November 30, 2018 Installment #1 based on your FY19 estimated dues*, please contact the following individuals directly:

- Kim Glover, or 703-739-5257

- Vidhya Bashyam, or 703-739-5255

If you are not interested in making this early payment, no action is necessary on your part at this time. Please look for final 2019 dues invoices to be sent to you during the month of October.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.


Thomas E. Tardivo
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Direct Dial: 703-739-5299


Subject: PBS Professional Director Election
From: Katherine Lauderdale
Date: Mon 8/20/2018 10:30 AM

On behalf of Shae Hopkins, Chair of the PBS Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, I write to notify you that voting has concluded for the 2018 election of six individuals to serve as professional directors on the PBS Board.

The following individuals were elected to serve a three-year term beginning next month, and will be seated at the end of the September 26 Board meeting:

- Deb Acklin, WQED/Pittsburgh, PA
- Ronnie Agnew, Mississippi Public Broadcasting/Jackson, MS (incumbent elected to a second term)
- Kim Johnson, Colorado Public Television/Denver, CO (incumbent elected to a second term)
- Kliff Kuehl, KCPT/Kansas City, MO (incumbent elected to a second term)
- Kevin Martin, Ideastream WVIZ/Cleveland, OH
- Tom Rieland, WOSU/Columbus, OH (incumbent elected to a second term)

The Committee is grateful to all of the candidates who stood for election this year. The system is fortunate to have such a talented pool of individuals willing to serve on the Board.

Best regards,
Katherine Lauderdale
PBS Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

cc: PBS Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee:
Shae Hopkins, Chair
Robert Sachs, Vice Chair
Bill Imada
Tom Karlo
Al Landon
Lisa Shumate
Brian Sickora
Evan Smith
Don Baer, ex officio
Paula Kerger, ex officio


From: Paula Kerger
Subject: Press Tour Highlights
Date: Thu 8/2/2018 3:31 PM
Attachment: Kerger Remarks TCA July 2018

Dear Colleagues:

On Tuesday, PBS wrapped up our portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. In collaboration with stations and producing partners, we featured more than 20 sessions representing the diversity of programming that can only be found on public television.

When you look at the full press tour schedule, it is striking that nearly all of the content presented by commercial media organizations falls into either scripted drama or reality television. We leveraged our two days to present a bright contrast. Whether talking about THE GREAT AMERICAN READ with best-selling authors Nicholas Sparks and Diana Gabaldon, or discussing the state of journalism with Judy Woodruff, Bob Costa and Christiane Amanpour, we reaffirmed for the critics that public media holds a singular and increasingly important place in the landscape.

This sentiment was reinforced by Variety’s Caroline Framke, who wrote that “every panel [PBS] presented over two days at this year’s summer tour was on brand, informative, and incisive. Befitting the public broadcasting network, many panels were for nonfiction programming across an astonishing range of topics. … In a press tour full of candy, PBS provided a welcome dose of vegetables.”

As I shared with you earlier this week, we also used the opportunity to introduce Perry Simon as PBS’ new Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. The announcement received an overwhelmingly positive response and significant pickup, including pieces from the Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. In fact, several critics approached me to express their admiration for Perry and his work.

We were very pleased with the media coverage coming out of our portion of press tour. To get a sense of the critics’ enthusiasm for our work, you can find highlights here and here. I’ve also attached a copy of my executive session remarks, should you find them useful as you speak to your Board, staff or within your community.

It is my honor to work with a media system that places a premium on quality and integrity, and it is my great pleasure to work alongside such an extraordinary group of leaders. Thank you for all that you continue to do to strengthen communities and improve lives.

As always, please reach out with any thoughts or questions.

All the best,



From: Paula Kerger
Subject: Chief Programming Executive update & Press Tour preview
Date: Mon 7/30/2018 11:03 AM
Attachments: Woodstock Announcement, Reconstruction Announcement, The Gene Announcement, Chief Programming Executive Announcement

Dear Colleagues:

This morning PBS will kick off our portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Working closely with our producing partners, we will present 24 sessions that reflect the diversity of programs that PBS and member stations have in store for the American public – from news and public affairs, to science and natural history, to children’s programming.

In addition to making several programming announcements, we are excited to announce PBS’ new Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, Perry Simon. Please note that this news is embargoed until this afternoon at 12:50 PM ET.

Over the past several months, PBS worked with the executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds and Associates to conduct a far-reaching search, which produced an impressive slate of candidates with diverse experiences and backgrounds. Perry stood out as the ideal person to lead General Audience programming for PBS.

Perry brings substantial experience in leadership positions across the media landscape, most recently serving as the managing director at Vulcan Productions. Prior to that, he spent seven years at BBC America, ultimately serving as General Manager. As a long-time board member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Perry has a deep commitment to the performing arts and the work of non-profit theater.

Perry will be relocating from Los Angeles and will start with PBS at the end of September, and I know that he looks forward to working with all of you once he gets settled. In the meantime, I want to thank Jonathan Barzilay for leading our programming efforts and Jim Dunford and the program team for taking on additional responsibilities while we conducted the search.

During my executive session with the television critics this morning, we will also announce three additions to the schedule. Attached are embargoed copies of the press releases that you can adapt to share with your own communities, viewers and supporters.

We will announce “Woodstock” by AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, a 2-hour documentary airing in 2019 that coincides with the 50th anniversary of that generation-defining event. Also next year, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will present RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, a four-hour, definitive account of one of the least understood chapters in American history.

We will also announce THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, a 3-part series airing in 2020 that will be executive produced by Ken Burns, in partnership with filmmaker Barak Goodman. The documentary, inspired by Siddhartha Mukherjee’s best-selling book, will explore the fundamental building block of life. This is the same team that brought us the groundbreaking series CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF MALADIES.

Over the next two days, we will be joined by a number of presenters and panelists, including Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Itzhak Perlman, Nicholas Sparks, Meredith Vieira, Judy Woodruff, and many more. The full schedule is available here.

I look forward to sharing highlights from Press Tour with you next week. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Finally, I am proud to share that PBS and our producing partners received 44 nominations for this year’s News & Documentary Emmys—more than any other organization. The exceptional journalism found on PBS continues to earn the public’s highest trust. Congratulations to our colleagues for this much-deserved recognition.

All the best,



From: Paula Kerger
Subject: Jane Chu
Date: Mon 7/9/2018 4:32 PM
Attachment: Jane Chu Press Release

Dear Colleagues:

I often speak of public media’s role as the most powerful megaphone for the arts in our country. However, we can always do more to expand the diversity and representation of the arts that we bring to the American public.

That’s why today I am pleased to share the good news that Jane Chu, the most recent head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has joined PBS as an arts adviser. Jane brings significant experience in both arts administration and philanthropy that reaches deep into communities, including serving as the leader of Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. She will work closely with PBS senior managers, as well as stations, producers and partners, to help us build out our arts strategy to reflect more great works from every corner of our country.

Jane’s first day is today. Please join me in welcoming her. I have attached the press release with her announcement, which you can feel free to share with your contacts locally. Jane’s email is, and I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

All the best,


From: Paula Kerger
Subject: PBS Board Meeting - June 2018
Date: Tue 7/3/2018 11:13 AM
Attachment: PBS Board Report June 2018 - Revised

Dear Colleagues:

On June 21, the PBS Board of Directors had a productive meeting in Lexington, KY, hosted by Shae Hopkins and the incredible team at KET. The Board considered our proposed operating plan and budget, and I am pleased to report that it passed unanimously. Thank you for your invaluable input over the last several months, which helped us to create a strong plan that reflects our shared priorities, and provides critical resources to position PBS and stations for continued success in a challenging media environment. The attached Board Report summarizes this and other actions at the meeting.

In addition to passing the budget, the Board voted to adopt new editorial standards and practices that will guide PBS in its evaluation of the content that PBS acquires and distributes. This document was carefully crafted by a working group including journalists, station leaders and board members over the course of the past year to better reflect the realities of the changing world we live in, while bolstering the importance of inclusivity in our content. Board member Evan Smith, CEO of the nonprofit Texas Tribune, chaired the committee. Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, drew from his extensive journalism background as former executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger to serve as vice chair. Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, served as moderator. The standards are now posted online, and we plan to supplement them by creating and collecting resources on the Station Management Center later this year for stations to share and discuss best practices with regard to editorial matters.

PBS and stations’ longstanding commitment to editorial integrity is key to our broad public trust. As a great coincidence, just as the Board was discussing the editorial standards in Kentucky, the Knight Foundation and Gallup released a joint report on trust in media that found that while two-thirds of Americans strongly distrust news on social media, PBS was rated the least biased and most accurate among major news sources. That is a distinction that we should all take pride in and do our utmost to preserve.

Each time this year, we announce a new slate of candidates for the Professional Director positions on our Board. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee announced that the following candidates are running for six open seats in 2018:

- Deb Acklin, WQED/Pittsburgh, PA
- Ronnie Agnew, Mississippi Public Broadcasting/Jackson, MS (incumbent)
- Rob Dunlop, Cascade Public Media/Seattle, WA
- Susi Elkins, WKAR/East Lansing, MI
- Kim Johnson, Colorado Public Television/Denver, CO (incumbent)
- Kliff Kuehl, KCPT/Kansas City, MO (incumbent)
- Kevin Martin, Ideastream WVIZ/Cleveland, OH
- Tom Rieland, WOSU/Columbus, OH (incumbent)

The election will take place via online ballot July 26-August 16, 2018, and new directors will be seated at the Board’s September 26, 2018 meeting. You should have received a separate email from Kathy Russell on behalf of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair Shae Hopkins with more details on the election process.

Also at this meeting, the Board voted to temporarily suspend action on new applications for or changes to PDP status (with the exception of two pending station matters) while the review and revision of the PDP policy is underway.

Meanwhile, we continue to navigate a complicated environment in Washington. Although the House Budget Committee recently reported out its annual budget resolution, which does not provide for CPB’s two-year advance, a House appropriations subcommittee has already approved its FY 2019 bill with level funding for CPB in FY 2021. It also includes $20 million for Interconnection, which it did not provide for last year, as well as $27.7 million for Ready to Learn (RTL), a $2 million increase over last year’s House bill. A Senate subcommittee followed suit last week and provided the same level of funding for CPB, Interconnection and RTL. We will keep you updated on key developments as we continue to work with our national partners to make our case to members of Congress.

As a final note, I want to congratulate our producing partners who were recently recognized with several high-profile awards, including six Peabody awards for news and documentaries on AMERICAN MASTERS, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, POV, INDEPENDENT LENS and PBS NEWSHOUR; a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for FRONTLINE’s “Iraq Uncovered”; a Daytime Emmy for A CHEF’s LIFE; several Parents Choice “Gold” category awards for PBS KIDS shows; and three Webby Awards, including one for the PBS KIDS Video App. In addition, PBS and PBS KIDS received three TCA award nominations, which you can read about here.

It is truly an honor to work with all of you to bring this matchless content to the American people. Thank you for all that you do to make it possible.

All the best,



By | 2018-08-24T09:08:36+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Daily Explorer, Recent Communications, SMC Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment

Capacity Building

Capacity Building

Use these links to access additional capacity building information & insight: